Feeling the pain

Startling study shows how many Houstonians struggle to afford rent

Startling study shows how many Houstonians struggle to afford rent

Dolce Midtown Apartments Houston
Rent is a burden for many Houston residents. Photo courtesy of Dolce Midtown Apartments

When it comes to paying rent, many Houstonians carry a pretty big burden, according to a new study.

The research, conducted by listings site Apartment List, shows almost half of renters in Houston — 49.3 percent — struggled to pay rent in 2018. The analysis is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Apartment List found 24.8 percent of Houston renters face a “moderate” burden, while the burden is “severe” for 24.5 percent. The website defines a cost-burdened household as one where rent eats up more than 30 percent of household income. A severe cost burden means a household spends at least half of its income on rent.

Median monthly rent in Houston grew 16 percent from 2008 to 2018, the report says, while median annual income for renters grew 11 percent during the same period. In 2018, the median monthly rent in Houston was $1,094, with the median annual income for renters at $42,822. 

Among the country’s 100 largest metro areas, 49.7 percent of renters were cost-burdened in 2018.

In Texas, the study indicates 50.4 percent of San Antonio renters were burdened last year, while only 47.2 percent of renters in Dallas-Fort Worth were burdened. Like Houston, Austin stood at 49.3 percent.